The police have a duty to inform the petitioner about charges filed against him and also any PT warrants issued/pending against him in order to prevent situations, like in the present case
By: Likivi K Jakhalu, Campus Law Centre, Delhi University
Justice K. Lakshman of the Telangana High Court has directed the Director-General of Police of Telangana State to refrain from registering multiple cases against a journalist-Youtuber facing 35 FIRs on the same charges in the present case.
In the present case, a writ petition was filed by the wife of a Free-Press Journalist to declare the action of the respondents in registering multiple FIRs arising out of the same cause of action against the husband of the petitioner as illegal and impermissible.
She alleged that the police authorities in connivance with political rivals and complainants have registered multiple crimes against her husband based on the same cause of action only to harass him.
The Court referred to Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. the Union of India where the hon’ble Apex Court held that multiple FIRs arising out of the same cause of action against the Journalist in question are violative of fundamental rights.
The Court observed that the respondent police arrested the husband of the petitioner and after securing bail, the police arrested him again under the guise of execution of PT Warrant in another case, due to which, the husband of the petitioner is not in a position to come out and is in judicial custody.
Thus, the action of the respondent police is vindictive and it amounts to a violation of Articles – 19 (1) (a) and 21 of the Constitution of India apart from being contrary to the procedure laid down under the Cr.P.C.
Article – 19 of the Constitution of India deals with the protection of rights involving freedom of speech, etc. Article – 19 (1) (a) deals with freedom of speech and expression. Article – 21 deals with the right to life and personal liberty.
The Court remarked “the Telangana State Police is trying to gain the confidence of the people of Telangana by using technology in conducting investigation effectively. It is highly appreciable. But, at the same time, they have to refrain from registration of multiple crimes against an individual which will damage their reputation and will lead to loss of confidence of the people.”
Some of the directions issued by the Court to the respondent police, more particularly to the Director-General of Police, Telangana State are mentioned below:
- Respondent Police are directed to refrain from registration of multiple crimes on the same allegations and they shall consider the truth of sameness;
- If there is more than one crime pending against the husband of the petitioner in respect of the very same allegation arising out of the same cause of action, respondent police shall conduct the investigation in one crime and treat the other crimes as statements under Section – 162 (Statements to police not to be signed- Use of statements in evidence) of the Cr.P.C.;
- The DGP shall personally supervise the investigation in respect of the crimes pending against the husband of the petitioner;
- The respondent police are directed not to resort to any vindictive attitude towards the husband of the petitioner. They are further directed not to harass the petitioner and her husband in any manner under the guise of investigation in any of the crimes that are pending against him. However, the petitioner and her husband shall co-operate with the respondent police by submitting necessary information in concluding the investigation in the aforesaid crimes.